Three years ago Creighton and I took ownership of our condominium at The Breakers in Long Beach, Washington. Photographing the birds that I see when we are there, keeps me curious and always learning. For Amy’s challenge this week, I’ve narrowed the choices to a few birds with narrow beaks.
The first time I saw and identified Greater Yellowlegs was in 2017, our first winter into spring living in this wetland paradise. This shot accentuates the bird’s silhouette, with its elegant yellow legs, graceful neck and body, big alert eye, and long narrow beak.
That same spring this Baird’s Sandpiper dabbled in the marsh, on its migration from South America to breeding grounds in the high Arctic tundra.
Northern (Red-Shafted) Flickers frequent my suet feeders in Vancouver, WA. What a thrill it was to watch this adult feed its fledge and teach it to nourish itself.
Short-billed only in comparison to its cousin the Long-billed Dowitcher! “Both species use their long narrow beak to forage for food by rhythmically inserting it straight up and down like a sewing machine needle at work.” allaboutbirds.org
In June 2019, a flock of migrating Brown Pelicans settled into the waters on the beach where Jello and I take our walks. This shot of a juvenile resting in the gently lapping surf, highlights how elegant these birds are, with their sinuous neck and long narrow beak.
“Brown Pelicans mostly eat small fish that form schools near the surface of the water—including menhaden, mullet, anchovies, herring, and sailfin mollies. A foraging pelican spots a fish from the air and dives head-first from as high as 65 feet over the ocean, tucking and twisting to the left to protect its trachea and esophagus from the impact. As it plunges into the water, its throat pouch expands to trap the fish, filling with up to 2.6 gallons of water.” https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Brown_Pelican/overview